The 2019 NFL Coaching Carousel is spinning at full force with youth and offensive smarts. It seems like if you’ve ever crossed paths or were at a party once with Sean McVay, you’ll be given a head coaching job. From the dreamy Kliff Kingsbury, to the goddamn Chef, to McVay’s former whipping boy, Matt LaFleur, it’s been a wild week in the NFL.
Anyways, we’ll be breaking down each hiring in-depth in an upcoming 2019 NFL Coaching Carousel Guide (reserve your copy here), but this is just a home base that highlights each move and gives you a sneak peak of what’s to come.
Filled Head Coaching Jobs
“The Fantasy Air Raid” : Extensive Kliff Kingsbury and Cardinals Breakdown here!
A new King in the Nest.#KardsGotKliff
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 8, 2019
We’ll start with the biggest and most surprising hire of the carousel, Kliff Kingsbury, the former Texas Tech head coach. It comes as a surprise because although the NFL is all about finding the next up-and-coming offensive brainiac, one could argue that Kingsbury’s time at Texas Tech was indeed a failure. I mean, how the hell do you go 5-7 with Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback? The only way this hire truly works is if he surrounds himself with a star-studded crew of assistants. There’s no argument that Kingsbury knows the Air Raid — he’s one of the brightest offensive minds in all of football — but can he develop Josh Rosen the way he developed Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M (as a coordinator) and Mahomes? Will he be able to build a true running game after being unable to develop one at Tech? Only time will tell.
Green Bay Packers
Introducing the 15th head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 9, 2019
Ah, our good friend, Matt LaFleur. The guy who we [wrongly] predicted would turn around Marcus Mariota and use Dion Lewis’ broad skill-set to “blend the run and passing game.” Instead, the entire offense sucked and then he realized in Week 14 to give the ball to Derrick Henry. Makes sense. Now, he gets the treat of coaching Aaron Rodgers, who will likely overrule and change LaFleur’s play-calls. Cut from the McVay cloth, LaFleur has the intellect and offensive mind to do wonderful things for Aaron Jones, but it’s quite tough to buy all the way in on a first-time head coach who busted pretty hard in his first season as an offensive coordinator.
Exclusive Podcast Breakdown here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bombshow Returns: Full Bruce Arians Breakdown
Welcome to Tampa Bay, Bruce Arians!
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 9, 2019
The Bucs made a home run hire when they talked Bruce Arians out of retirement. The offensive guru and quarterback whisper will have his hands full with fixing Jameis Winston. Luckily for Arians, he has a loaded offensive cupboard compared to the others on the carousel. Arians will not only do wonders for Winston, but he’ll also get the most out of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard and the rest of the skill positions. Expect a slight stock up for the Bucs playmakers.
🖊️ to 📄 makes it official.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) February 5, 2019
Oh, look. Another twig off the McVay tree is getting a head job. It seems like just yesterday that Taylor was a quarterback at Nebraska, and after working on McVay’s staff as an assistant receivers coach in 2017 and quarterback coach in 2018, the Bengals think he’s the chosen one. With virtually no other legit experience outside of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the Dolphins in 2015 and then the same job at the University of Cincinnati in 2016, this looks like another head scratcher. Bungles gonna Bungles. However, this offense has the pieces to be genuinely explosive if Taylor’s lack of experience isn’t a major road block.
Freddie Kitchens will be named new Browns head coach later today, per sources.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 9, 2019
It’s almost like Baker Mayfield called the shots with this hire. As you know, we are high on ‘The Chef.’ The Browns offense woke up from its Hue Jackson hibernation when Kitchens took over the play-calling duties. It’s well-known now that Kitchens is a branch from the Bruce Arians’ tree, meaning he’s an attacking, downfield play-caller who got the most out of Mayfield. Even though he turned around the offense and Mayfield seems to be infatuated with him, he was only a coordinator for the second half of the season. Todd Monken has also been been brought in as OC, and will install the same “Air Raid” principles that helped the Bucs lead the league in passing yards with over 320 per game.
New York Jets
Jets expected to hire HC Adam Gase, per me and @JeffDarlington.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 10, 2019
The AFC East just can’t get out of its own way. It’s not that Adam Gase is a bad coach, or he’s going to fail in New York, it’s just that they hired a coach who went 23-25 facing a similar schedule for the rival Dolphins. One positive about this hire though, is that he will likely keep Sam Darnold’s development ascending. The Jets are an impact running back (Le’Veon Bell) away from making some real noise on the offensive side of the ball. Hopefully a change of scenery and a young, talented quarterback will make things work for Gase in New York.
OFFICIAL: We’ve agreed to terms with Vic Fangio as head coach.
⁰Welcome to #BroncosCountry, Coach!
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) January 10, 2019
John Elway chose Bears’ DC Vic Fangio as his new head coach, opting for the lone defensive-minded coach of the carousel so far. Most thought Fangio would keep Gary Kubiak as his offensive coordinator. However, the sides couldn’t agree on staffing and offensive philosophies. Without an active OC on the staff, it’s tough to talk about the 2019 Broncos offense. Check back to see who fills this vacant position.
Dolphins waiting for Pats' season to end before finalizing HC deal with Patriots’ LB coach Brian Flores:https://t.co/FafEg9QpL7
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2019
Best known for saying “Malcolm, GO!” Brian Flores has worked his ass up in New England from a scouting assistant role way back in 2004, to calling the defense in 2018. There’s a chance he could poach an offensive assistant from the Patriots to call the shots, but we likely won’t know details until the Patriots are done with the playoffs. He went to Boston College and then has spent his entire coaching career in New England, so it’s unsurprising he dubbed New England WRs coach Chad O’Shea his OC. While unknown as a playcaller, O’Shea has developed some excellent run-after-catch weapons and will undoubtedly mimic the Patriots Way of generating YAC opportunities. The insight of veteran coach Jim Caldwell helps balance out this young staff.
Filled Offensive Coordinator Jobs
We have hired Dirk Koetter to be our offensive coordinator. We have also hired Mike Mularkey to be our TE coach.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 8, 2019
With Sark out the door and likely on the move to Arizona, the Falcons brought back their old friend, Dirk Koetter. Koetter was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons back in 2012-2015, where he will be refreshing for Matt Ryan, who seems like he has a new OC every other season. The Wolf will dive deeper into this hire, but Koetter will be a positive for both Ryan and Julio Jones — who had 10, 8 and 6 touchdowns in his three full seasons under Koetter. In 2015, Jones saw an obscene 136 receptions, 1,871 yards and 8 touchdowns on 203 targets. If that foot can hold up for an entire season, watch out.
Three Crucial Fantasy Football Takeaways from Gary Kubiak to Vikings
The #Vikings have named Kevin Stefanski offensive coordinator.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 9, 2019
With the Vikings moving on from John DeFilippo during the season, they elevated Kevin Stefanski to offensive coordinator. Even though he can’t win a big game, Kirk Cousins had the best season of his career under Stefanski’s watch. Dalvin Cook got more involved post-Defilippo and the offense seemed to finally get their shit together. It might be time to go back in on the Vikings’ offense under Stefanski.
Minnesota Vikings officially have named Gary Kubiak assistant head coach/offensive advisor, Brian Pariani tight ends coach and Klint Kubiak quarterbacks coach.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 15, 2019
In what is an even bigger get for the Vikings, they inked a deal with Gary Kubiak as an assistant head coach/ offensive adviser. Typically an offensive adviser would not make headlines, but Kubiak’s zone blocking scheme is legendary when it comes to fantasy football. Kubiak turned Terrell Davis into a Hall of Famer, Arian Foster into an All-Pro, Matt Schaub into a Pro Bowler and won a Super Bowl with noodle-armed Peyton Manning. Most importantly, his zone blocking scheme will do wonders for Dalvin Cook. His unique and elite skill-set matches perfectly with this scheme, as it creates massive cutback lanes. His vision and quickness will work wonders in this offense and it should make him one of The Wolf’s biggest risers on his 2019 Big Board.
Green Bay Packers
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 14, 2019
Even though Matt LeFleur said during his introductory press conference that he would be calling the plays for the Packers this season, he will lean on former Jags’ OC Nathaniel Hackett to develop the game plan and work with known baby, Aaron Rodgers. Both Hackett and LeFleur have West Coast offense ideologies, with Hackett tied to his father, who was tied to Bill Walsh. LeFleur is a branch of the great Mike Shanahan and his West Coast offense. The Packers are injecting some youth on the offensive staff, as both Hackett and LeFleur are 39 years old.
We've added Steve Wilks as our defensive coordinator, Todd Monken as offensive coordinator and Mike Priefer as special teams coordinator.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 14, 2019
In what continues to be a tremendous carousel for the Browns, they’ve added the great Todd Monken as offensive coordinator. Hailing from Tampa Bay’s No. 1 passing attack, Monken is one of the most aggressive and creative coaches in the league. Monken is a disciple of the Air Raid, which is what Baker Mayfield learned under Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech and mastered under Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma. From a fantasy perspective, this should shoot Mayfield up The Wolf’s Big Board, and if they can find a legitimate outside WR to stretch the field, the Browns offense could explode. Monken had this tremendous quote to say about his philosophy, “I like having fun. I don’t know why it has to feel like such drudgery all the time. Who needs more 5-yard plays? How can we be explosive? That’s what the game is about, man. People like big plays. I like big plays.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 16, 2019
The man who famously called a pass from the one-yard line has a new job in Detroit, as Matt Patricia found his new offensive coordinator in former Seahawks’ OC Darrell Bevell. Patricia wants to counter the high-octane passing attacks by controlling the ball with the running game, and Bevell is just the man to implement that scheme. Look for a bump up the Big Board with Kerryon Johnson, as the Lions will look to ground and pound in 2019.